The big question

    Antisocial behaviour orders. Overdue or over the top?

    Tomas Foley, care leaver
    I am 23 and left care at 17. I live in a block of nine flats, one
    is a crack house, one sells cocaine, one is a sex offender. That is
    our typical accommodation. Many of us live in fear of violence,
    intimidation or burglary. If ASBOs could protect us then I welcome
    them. But they are not meant to assist vulnerable groups but
    instead to capture the votes of adult conservatives.

    Angie Lawrence, single parent

    ASBOs can be effective in the short term but they often simply move
    the problem elsewhere. I live in a rough area of Greater Manchester
    which has three times more ASBOs than anywhere else. But they’ve
    changed little and I think Sure Start has done much more to address
    key issues such as bad parenting which are at the root of it

    Peggy Hatcher, pensioner
    Some youths can be absolute pests. I don’t live in the best of
    areas and I know a lot of older people in my block are frightened
    of going out at night. But youngsters hanging around are very
    threatening and I know people who have been jostled into the road
    by gangs – in one case a group of young girls. If ASBOs can stop
    that sort of thing then I support them.

    Alex Williams, mental health service

    A curfew might seem draconian but to anyone who has been on the
    receiving end of “low level” crime it could provide a solution. In
    some cases ASBOs may be a good thing; in others they further
    disadvantaging people with multiple problems, for example a family
    on benefits evicted due to a teenager with behavioural problems.

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